Don’t get lost in translation

Tips for better PLEWould you like to make some of your public legal education and information materials available in languages other than English?

It’s important to identify priority languages, especially if you have limited resources. Some questions to ask:

  • Can members of the community access legal information in French?
  • Which legal topics are most relevant to the community?
  • What is the capacity to provide services in that language to people who wish to follow up on the information?

Preparing text for translation

  • Keep in mind that translation can often add to the length of the text – make sure that you have budgeted for the format you’ve chosen
  • Consider choosing content likely to have a significant “shelf life” in order to avoid costly revisions
  • Start with source texts in English that are written in plain language
  • For some more relevant pointers, see our post on writing for English language learners.

See also CLEO’s Better Legal Information Handbook for more information on translating English materials into French and non-official languages.

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